This book is all about how women are marginalized in the workforce and the various factors, both internal and external, that continue this cycle that nobody wants to admit still happens. I won't go into a lengthy diatribe about the book...you really are going to have to read it for yourself, I highly recommend it!
But what struck me, as I'm sure it struck every woman who has read the book, is how shockingly true and personally accurate everything in the book is. Over and over I felt like the book had been written using the thoughts and feelings hidden deeply in myself. It was amazing and at the same time very disturbing because it means that every single woman in the United States (and most likely the entire world) is feeling the same way. And we are all struggling alone instead of reaching out for help.
All through college I felt sure that somebody would stand up and say "You aced that test but you are a fraud."
I still feel like people are going to realize that I am a great big fraud. A fraud with few possibilities for the future. I love agriculture, I truly do, but it's hard when you don't come from a farm or ranch. Immensely hard. It's especially difficult because I don't have my family's farm or ranch to fall back on, no matter how much I wish that I did have that option. Because even though most people are happy and willing to share their knowledge with you and help you gain the experience you need, there are always going to be those bad eggs standing in the background saying "What right do you have to farm or ranch when it is not your legacy?" Another comment I have personally heard is "Just because you work for a farmer or rancher doesn't make you a farmer or rancher."
Being the hired help is hard enough without being slapped in the face like that. So the hired help isn't really a farmer or a rancher but you're not exactly a civilian either.
Maybe I will just term myself an agriculturist.
But can I help it if I don't know where I want to settle down yet?
A man from a grain operation who works on John Deere's for a living and stands a stocky 6'5"? Done deal. Me on the other hand? I stand 5'2" (on a good day) and gained all my hands-on experience working through college.
And for now, I will continue to draw strength from the countless Women In Ag that are out there making a difference in their communities and the internet by sharing their stories. Women who are giving a stranger strength without even realizing they are doing so.
Lean in? I'm leaning now. Are you?